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Fire Under Control (1971)

Hardin-Simmons University Library

Sound | 1971

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  •  Three basic components of fire 
  •  Added complexities of fire protection in space 
  •  Development of fire-resistant fabrics and other products 
  •  Earthbound benefits in home construction, healthcare, and transportation 
  •  Heat-reflective garments for rescue personnel 
  •  Members of the Houston Fire Department test experimental firefighting suits 
 
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Produced by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, this government film reviews advancements in fire control technology. Fire prevention is different in space than on Earth. As a result, the agency developed a variety of fire-resistant fabrics and products to better ensure crew safety. Naturally, these innovations have Earthbound applications as well, from home construction to transportation. The Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston also worked with metropolitan fire departments to develop an improved firefighting suit.
As the scope of the American space program grew, NASA’s Space Task Group realized it would need to expand into its own facility if it were to successfully land a man on the Moon. In 1961, the agency’s selection team chose a 1,000-acre cow pasture in Houston, Texas, as the proposed center’s location site, owing to its access to water transport and commercial jet service, moderate climate, and proximity to Rice University. In September 1963, the facility opened as the Manned Spacecraft Center (MSC). 
 
The Center became the focal point of NASA’s manned spaceflight program, developing spacecraft for Projects Gemini and Apollo, selecting and training astronauts, and operating the Lunar Receiving Laboratory. Beginning with Gemini 4 in June 1965, MSC’s Mission Control Center also took over flight control duties from the Mercury Control Center at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. As a result, the facility managed all subsequent manned space missions, including those related to Projects Gemini and Apollo, the Apollo Applications Program, the Space Shuttle Orbiters, and the International Space Station.
 
In 1973, the MSC was renamed in honor of the late President and Texas native Lyndon B. Johnson. (As Senate Majority Leader, Johnson sponsored the 1958 legislation that established NASA.) The Center continues to lead NASA’s efforts in space exploration, training both American and international astronauts, managing missions to and from the International Space Station, and operating scientific and medical research programs.